The Castle of Paderna: a small medieval jewel near Pontenure
Who wouldn’t be tempted by the chance to discover a fairy-tale castle in a delightful village in the Piacenza valley? In Emilia Romagna, near the comune of Pontenure, surrounded by a large farm and a moat still brimming with water, stands the Castle of Paderna, a medieval structure that belongs to the circuit of the Castles of the Duchy of Parma, Piacenza and Pontremoli.
The origins of this castle are not documented, but we do know that the Marazzani counts acquired it in 1453 and renovated it, giving it the appearance that we can still admire today. In the following decades, surrounding walls were built, with towers and the imposing dungeon, as well as the moat and other structures forming part of the complex.
The parish church dedicated to the Chair of Saint Peter, built on the opposite side of the small park and well worth visiting, was built in 1755 and enhanced with furnishings chosen by Countess Amalia Marazzani.
From castle to farm
Today, the castle, owned by the noble Pettorelli family, is a renowned organic farm that offers educational workshops, a rich orchard and a vegetable garden, where the delicacies served to castle guests are grown.
Before you set off from Pontenure or Piacenza to visit the castle, we recommend checking its opening hours: it is open on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from 1 May to 31 July and from 1 to 25 September, from 10am to 12pm. Advance booking required.
You can enjoy a stunning walk through the large green park to the small parish church, which offers unique views of the castle. But the real gem is the castle itself. On this journey through time, you can visit small museums that depict the history of the castle and, in the tower “con i piedi nell'acqua” (“on the water's edge”), the armoury, which contains an extensive collection of weapons belonging to the Marazzani family.
When is the best time to visit?
We recommend visiting the Castle of Paderna during the famous “Frutti del Castello” (“Fruits of the Castle”) event, held twice a year, dedicated to floriculture. In spring, the event focuses on the flowers and gardens, while in autumn it is dedicated to ancient fruits, plants, agricultural products and handicrafts.
This event, one of the most renowned in Italy, has been held at the castle since 1996. The jam-packed programme of events covers two days, Saturday and Sunday, with over 160 exhibitors, gatherings, guided tours and tasting workshops to help you discover the flavours of this land. An unmissable date for the diary!